Help - Lost local POP mail while copying to IMAP account

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird

Post Posted April 1st, 2011, 8:21 am

Hi All,

email client: Thunderbird 3.1.8
OS: Ubuntu Linux 10.04

I have a free Yahoo email account, and I have been using it successfully with thunderbird + Yahoo webmail pluging. However, for some reasons the yahoo webmail plugin haven't been functional for a couple of days now and it gets infamous bad vibes from yahoo.

In order to get around this problem, I read that I could use free Yahoo account by using IMAP service. So I created a new account, and set it up to use IMAP as the protocol. So far so good.

However, I wanted to copy all my local messages from the POP Inbox to this new IMAP Inbox, so I selected all my messages from POP Inbox, and dragged the selected messages to IMAP Inbox. And now the sh*t really hit the fan.

For a reason that I didn't expect, the system started copying (moving?) POP Inbox messages to IMAP Inbox, simultanously copying the email messages to Yahoo server as well.

However, at the end of this nice action I had lost all my POP email messages, except the last 200 newest messages.

I have tried to find the deleted/lost POP Inbox messages under the hidden .thunderbird folder, but no success.

I tried to get the email from the Yahoo POP account too, but I had opted to "deleted the messages from the server", so I cannot recover the messages from the Yahoo server either.

<desparately>Any suggestions, how to get my lost email back?</desparately>

Ps. Yes, I know that I should have backed up the thunderbird profile before taking this action, but ... ](*,)


Post Posted April 1st, 2011, 8:47 am

After investigating, here is what I found from the folders:

The old POP folder: Inbox, 47.5MB
The new IMAP folder: Inbox, 25.1MB

So, it looks like that the old folder contains some extra stuff, but I cannot see that stuff.


Post Posted April 1st, 2011, 9:15 am

So, I backed up my old stuff, and created another POP account, in which I copied the original 47.5MB Inbox file, deleted popstate.dat and any msf-files, repaired the folder, but I could not see more than last 200 messages. So, it seems that I have lost all my emails, except the last 200 messages.

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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 1:49 am

Hi KalvinK!
I ran into the same problem the other day, but I found a way to get the emails back!

You are right, they are still in the pop inbox file. What you have to do is (I know you have Linux, and this instructions are for Windows XP, but I guess you can do the same on Linux too):

go to the file inbox you said (make hidden files visible, then: local disk>documents and settings>YOUR USER>Application data>Thundebird>Profiles once there you have to find the account you are looking for), and open it with a text editor. It is usually a big file, I had to download another software because nothing else could open it.. (Vim7.3 It might take a while to open the file, just be patient. Once you opened the file you will have to change for every email the string "X-Mozilla-Status: 0001" into "X-Mozilla-Status: 0000". It's pretty easy since the editor program has the function "find and replace". Save the file (better save as..) and close it. Now open Thunderbird, create a new account as you already did, and take the emails from the file you just created (tools>account settings>server settings (of the new account)>local directory and then browse for the new inbox file you just created). Restart Thunderbird and cross the fingers, your emails should be there!

I thought I lost my 3700 emails from 2004 till now of my yahoo account. Since it's days I am looking on how to recover them (and I managed once, but lost them again like you), I probably messed them up a little more, so finally I recovered 2530 emails. I am actually missing the last 5 months, but I checked into all the inbox files in Thunderbird, there is no trace of them!

I hope it helped!


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Post Posted June 5th, 2011, 3:41 am

Instead of using a text editor to reset the "X-Mozilla-Status" value, there is a utility named "Thunderbird Reset Status" available on this site to accomplish the same thing --

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